Cutler Legislation to Strengthen Lobbyist Disclosure Act Advances

Legislation offered by Rep. Bryan Cutler (R-Peach Bottom) to increase penalties for violators of Pennsylvania’s Lobbyist Disclosure Act (LDA) received second consideration on the House floor today. 

“My goal with the bill is to bring state government back to a time when the interests of the citizens were more important than the special interests,” said Cutler.  “This is an important reform and I am pleased to see it moving through the process so quickly this session.” 

Cutler noted the legislation received unanimous support in the House last year, but failed to advance in the Senate. 

House Bill 103 would increase the maximum administrative penalty the Ethics Commission may impose from $2,000 to $10,000 when a lobbyist or principal has engaged in unlawful practices under the LDA.  These acts could include attempting to influence a state official by extortion, coercion or bribery; attempting to influence a state official by providing campaign contributions; refusing to identify a principal; or advising a person to violate the LDA.   

In addition, the legislation increases the length of time the commission may prohibit an individual from lobbying from five to 10 years.  Finally, the bill would address negligent failure to report, as required under LDA, by increasing penalties from $50 per day late to $250 per day late. 

“We have already seen cases of lobbyists skirting the Lobbyist Disclosure Act and reaping great economic rewards as a result,” said Cutler.  “We have to reinforce the seriousness of the law by letting lobbyists know we mean business.  Gone are the days when a lobbyist can simply write off the penalties imposed by the state as just the cost of doing business.” 

House Bill 103 received second consideration today.  It is expected to be voted on final consideration next week and will then advance to the Senate. 

The legislation was included as part of a package of bills, called the Pennsylvania Agenda for Trust in Harrisburg (PATH), put forth by House Republicans to reform state government.  Other measures in the package include legislation to make the Right-To-Know law applicable to public procurement contracts and a bill to prohibit members of the General Assembly from creating or maintaining non-profits receiving public funds. 

State Representative Bryan Cutler
100th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact:  Nicole Wamsley

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